Group of ACE volunteers relaxing around the campfire
↺ All Reviews
A female volunteer stood in front of a plain

Rebecca Preece

This spring I had an incredible opportunity to volunteer at three different projects offered by African Conservation Experience (ACE), allowing me to explore my interest in wildlife veterinary medicine and conservation. I was in my final year of veterinary nurse training and wanted to use their projects to gain some hands-on experience in the field. 

The projects I chose were Phinda Wildlife Research Project, Shimongwe Wildlife Veterinary Experience, and Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Each project was an equally remarkable experience. 

This trip was my first time outside of the UK, and the whole ACE team were incredibly supportive throughout. 

During my first week at the Phinda, I got to see a huge variety of wildlife. I also got to assist with some management work, such as elephant darting, rhino horn trimming, and rhino relocations. These experiences were definitely a highlight of my trip!

For the next two weeks, I was based in Louis Trichardt at the veterinary project, where I assisted in darting Buffalo and worked with livestock and domestic animals.

In my time off I got to explore the surrounding area, and I went on an amazing weekend excursion to Leshiba Wilderness and a lovely day trip to Mapungubwe National Park.

My final week was spent at Moholoholo, where I helped the centre with their daily animal care tasks which were usually cleaning, feeding, and caring for the range of animals at Moholoholo. I got the chance to work closely with two pairs of honey badgers and four white-faced owls. 

My experience with ACE and the projects was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I could not recommend it enough to other people thinking of volunteering.

I was nervous about travelling solo to a new country, so I am proud that I did this by myself with the support of ACE, and I want to be able to give other people the confidence to do the same. The whole experience with ACE has made me realise that I want to go into wildlife conservation whether it's based in the UK or internationally.

I can not thank the teams at ACE, Phinda, Shimongwe, and Moholoholo enough!